WP Builds Newsletter #5 – Covering The Week Commencing 19th March 2018

This weeks WordPress news:

A Plea For Plugin Developers to Stop Supporting Legacy PHP Versions
Iain Poulson has published a thoughtful request on the Delicious Brains blog asking WordPress plugin developers to stop supporting legacy PHP versions. He covers some of the benefits of developing with newer versions of PHP, what Delicious Brains is doing with its plugins, and using the Requires Minimum PHP Version header in readme.txt.

Hey WordPress Plugin Developers, Stop Supporting Legacy PHP Versions In Your Plugins
Yes, (unbelievably) WordPress still supports installations of PHP 5.2.4! As plugin developers, we can’t change that over night but we have the power to stop supporting these legacy versions in our plugins where we have control over the codebase.

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Check Out the #1 WordPress Page Builder
Finding just the right WordPress website builder takes time – lots of it — and you also need to know what to look for, which can require a research skillset that would make Sherlock Holmes proud. What you all too often run into, however, are these tradeoffs:

Gutenberg: The current 2.4 state
Since September, when I have written about the Gutenberg 1.1 version, this plugin soon to be part of the WordPress core, has come a long way and it has reached version 2.4. A lot has changed with Gutenberg since my first article, and it is not really possible to list all the changes, I will try in this article to revisit the problems discussed in the previous article, talk about the editing workflow, metaboxes support and the state of the Gutenberg for the merge into the WordPress.

The Beginner WordPress developer’s guide to wp_enqueue
While WordPress is powerful, there are plenty of under-the-hood features that can help you maximize its efficiency. In fact, overlooking inherent functions such as wp_enqueue could even impact your site’s overall effectiveness. If you optimize your themes and plugins correctly, you can improve your site’s performance while enhancing user experience. The wp_enqueue function is a great place to start. This simple integration can prevent issues with your theme when used with other WordPress plugins.

WordPress Distraction Free Writing Mode, and How To Make it Better!
I have always been easily distracted, and have always struggled writing well thought out posts directly into the WordPress post editor. So when WordPress announced that they would be adding a new (2014) ‘Distraction Free Writing Mode’ to their editor I, like many others, thought this would be a great addition for those with a small attention span like mine. Unfortunately, the new distraction-free writing mode ended up proving, well pretty distracting actually.

Toolset Beta with Support in CRED and Layouts for Relationship Forms
Yesterday we released another beta for Toolset, now with Layouts support for post-relationship forms. This update allows you to try the upcoming Toolset functionality, with all Toolset plugins. This means that you can now use Layouts with post relationship forms. There’s a new Layouts cell for relationship forms, which works very similarly to other CRED cells in Layouts.

Non WordPress, but useful anyway…

Google’s Object Recognition Tool, Google Lens, Now Available on iOS
Google Lens, a tool that utilizes smartphone cameras to recognize objects, is now available to iOS users. The rollout began this week and will continue over the next several weeks. Lens is not a standalone app— rather, it’s a tool built into Google Photos which allows users to take photos of an object to learn more about it.

Google unveils its $300M News Initiative
Google today announced a multi-pronged News Initiative, which Chief Business Officer Phillipp Schindler described as a way to tie together all the company’s efforts to work with the journalism industry. Google says the News Initiative is focused on three broad goals — strengthening quality journalism, supporting sustainable business models and empowering newsrooms through technological innovation. It’s also committing to spend $300 million over the next three years on its various journalism-related projects.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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